When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Me

Is this what finding peace means?

Alex Rosado
4 min readJan 4, 2023
Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash

Picture this: I’m sitting on a stool too high for the table in front of me. I’m listening to a song I like while watching the constant train of people and cars going up and down the street. I’m in the Dublin suburbs on December 31st. Tonight, I’ll be celebrating the passing of a new year with people I’ve met less than two months ago.

Not everything is perfect, not everything has gone my way, but life is good. If you had told me a year ago this is where I would end up, I wouldn’t have believed you.

2022 has been incredibly tough and incredibly giving.

I’ve felt so deeply alone at times. I felt like I was wasting my life, spending my precious time waiting for something to happen. I was a shadow of my former self, decaying in someone else’s basement.

2022 is the year I thought I was going to settle somewhere of my own for the first time. We were going to buy a house and make a home. An American boy in need of a family, a French girl always on the move, and a rescue dog in a constant war with squirrels. It was a beautiful dream. It still is, and I’m sure it will happen someday, but the pill was hard to swallow.

2022 is the year I wrote on Medium. Not well. Not much. Not successfully. But I wrote. That was a victory in itself for me.

It’s also the year I finally visited Boston, and saw Portland Maine. The year I discovered New York more. The year I went back to Dublin. Some places call us with such strong voices we can’t ignore them. I’ve added Boston, Portland, Tullamore, and Schenectady to the list of the places I’d like to live. A long list that only grows with the years.

2022 is the year I didn’t get to say goodbye to my grandfather. The last page of an important book was read, and there’s another place in this world where I can’t go back to. The house is still here, but it’s not a home anymore.

I celebrated my first anniversary on a roller coaster. That night, we went to the hotel bar. There was only us. As we were talking and eating, a couple entered. The woman was wearing a wedding dress. She wanted to take a picture in front of the wall of bottles. While she was getting ready, one of my favorites songs played on the radio. My husband and I looked at each other, amazed that such a moment could exist. I’m not sure if it was fate, luck, or serendipity, but I’m happy I was there at the right moment.

I found a job in a city I love in a field I was particularly interested in. The price to pay was to leave my husband and most of my possessions behind. It might be temporary, but the weeks are long alone.

I used to be a shy kid spending most of her time reading and talking nonsense. I was dreaming of going places and accomplishing big things. I wanted friendships that last and memories I couldn’t recreate. I think little Alexiane would be pretty proud of me. She’d be sassy for sure, but impressed with the places I’ve been and the things I actually did.

It’s nice to know I turned out okay.

2023 has big shoes to fit. I hope it will be the year my husband and I settle for good somewhere. The year we find a balance and make new friends. The year I become great at my job. The year I actually write about something else than myself. The year I finally take a ukulele lesson.

Hopefully, we get to have a calm year.

I think we could all use it.

Happy New Year! I wish you the best for 2023 — the usual health, happiness, wealth — but also a couple of nice surprises, just to keep you on your toes.

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Alex Rosado

Oversharer. French. Occasional critic. A bit dramatic but still figuring things out